Washington state sports betting restricted to tribal venues

Washington State Betting Regulations are likely to emerge soon. However, based on the updated tribal contracts, mobile betting will be severely restricted. The state has attacked two different Native American tribes so far, and potentially more.

Washington currently has an extensive tribal gaming system of 34 across Evergreen state. However, 22 at least one casino is run by different federally recognized tribes. This makes introducing bookmakers in Washington state difficult. The government must make a separate agreement with each tribe.

Washington State Betting Bets Regulated By 2020

Last year, Washington state lawmakers paved the way for regulated bookmakers. Due to the COVID-22 pandemic, all casinos were closed when the law passed. Many felt that the downtime would be an opportunity for fruitful negotiations. However, almost fifteen months later, there are still no retail bookmakers in Washington state.

Last year, Governor Jay Inslee signed a regulated sports betting act. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren).

the online and mobile betting offer has sparked a lively debate. Native American tribes lobbied to allow betting across the state, from Seattle to Spokane. But opponents of gambling joined forces with the companies behind Washington's premier poker room industry against state-of-the-art betting operations.

Tribal exclusivity on issue in Washington

Sportsbooks say Washington state bookmakers should not be limited to tribal casinos. Different states have taken different paths towards tribal exclusivity when regulating sports betting.

Florida is similar to Washington. Native American tribes have the exclusive right to offer casino games, but a solid system of card games reduces profitability. This caused the largest tribe to stop making payments to the state for two years. However, Florida recently renegotiated the Seminole Tribe deal to ensure total control of the new bookmakers, including mobile betting, statewide. This brought the tribe back to the fold, promising a Florida transfer of over 500 million $ annually.

Connecticut, meanwhile, has provided sports betting licenses to the Native American tribes without giving them sole control. In New York, the story is more complicated. Its new bookmaker laws are silent on how tribes will be integrated into the new mobile industry, if at all. Native American tribes can sue to prevent online betting in New York from being launched.

While Florida and Connecticut have only two federally recognized tribes to deal with, Washington State has twenty-two. This complicates mobile betting as twenty-two different mobile operators would be close to the maximum amount supported by the market. Most likely, the smaller tribes will need to work together to add a brand new legalization wrinkle.

What will Washington State's regulated betting facilities look like?

Currently, the state has reached agreement on new agreements with only two tribes: Tulalip and Suquamish. Anyone can build a retail bookmaker on their own casino floor. However, both will also be able to offer online or mobile games on land and in buildings adjacent to their casinos. It is unclear if the mobile option will only cover tribal hotels and restaurants or a larger area.

Allowing mobile betting anywhere in tribal soil would greatly increase the potential income of sports bookmakers in Washington state. But it doesn't seem like mobile betting statewide is coming up any time soon.

For bettors going to one of the new bookmakers, regulated bets will cover professional and college games. However, no bets will be made at state colleges such as the Washington Huskies or Washington State Cougars. In addition, Washington will allow betting on amateur events such as the Olympics, as well as professional eSports tournaments.

The chairman of the Washington State Gambling Commission believes that bookmakers may start operating before the 2021 NFL Season. Seahawks fans are certainly delighted with such optimism. Moreover, at least another 11 of the 30 Native American Tribes have expressed an interest in updating their own CDs to include sports betting. The Kalispel, Snoqualmie and Muckleshoot tribes appear to be closest to announcing new deals.

Regulated bookmakers from Washington state will soon be a reality. But where other states are vying to add broad mobile betting options, Washington's plan remains limited. As the renegotiated agreements still require the approval of the legislature, it may be more likely that the restricted betting model will be adopted. Even so, the state will continue to voluntarily donate needed additional revenues from regulated mobile betting across the state.

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